March 23, 2020 / 9:23 PM / 17 days ago

False claim: Image shows coronavirus vaccine

Images circulated on social media make the claim that a coronavirus vaccine exists and can be seen in a photograph that shows a medical kit with the words COVID-19 on the packaging ( here ).

Some posts also make the claim that President Donald Trump recently announced that the vaccine would be soon launched by Roche Medical Company.

The image shows a few small packets, an eye-dropper, a set of instructions and a box, all labelled “SGTi-Flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG”.

This claim is inaccurate. The images circulated on social media actually show a test kit for coronavirus, produced by the South Korean medical company Sugentech which can be corroborated by their website ( bit.ly/2J9ILcD ).

A description of the test item states:

“SGTi-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG is a gold nanoparticle-based immunochromatographic test kit for qualitative determination of COVID-19’s IgM and IgG antibodies in human whole blood (finger prick or venous), serum or plasma. The kits are accurate and easy to use and results can be observed with the naked eye within 10 minutes. The test detects the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood of those who are tested after infection. The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to COVID-19, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic. Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms. As there is no medicine or vaccine, the best way to combat this infection is isolation. A lot of people don’t have symptoms. Because of that, quick diagnostics are very important. SGTi-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG enables to help for community to identify infection and isolate people without symptoms but suspected COVID-19.”

The brand name “Sugentech” is legible on the packaging of the box in the images circulating, and the product name matches Sugentech’s description, further confirming this image shows a COVID-19 test, not vaccine. Better quality versions of the photograph can be seen on social media ( here ). “Sugentech” is more clearly legible and the descriptions correctly describe it as a coronavirus test.

Experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) say they do not expect any fully tested and approved vaccine to reach the market until the middle of next year ( here ).

VERDICT

False: Image shows test kit for coronavirus, not a vaccine

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

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